Wednesday, June 26, 2013

More on OYAN and coming home

OYAN Summer Workshops were amazing, as I said last time. There is more that fills my heart, so I thought I'd share a few more thoughts and perceptions. OYAN was started by Daniel & Carol Schwabauer not that many years ago, but it has grown incredibly. Being there for a week, I think I know at least part of the reason. It was planted on true faith in the living God! Mr. & Mrs. S, as they are affectionately known by students, walk in that faith and vision. They are following God, and God rewards that. Or maybe better said, when we get on board with what God is doing, He does it!

Another thing we heard a lot about at Summer Workshops was using our God-given talents to change the world. To believe that God has a call on each life and has gifted each person to fulfil that call. Students were encouraged to strive for excellence, and given tools to help them get there. And the community of students was inspired to be a godly community where love and truth exist. No matter what gifts God has given our kids, that is what we want-- for them to use those gifts to change the world and to live in their world in godly ways.

In case you're wondering, this is not a commercial for OYAN: this is a reflection on yet another place where we see God alive, well, and working. A reflection on the faith that keeps us moving on and the passion that fuels our lives. I haven't downloaded photos yet, but I hope to do so and will add them to these posts:).

We arrived home Sunday evening and are getting back into the swing of life at home. I  moved the trash can yesterday, and it was amazing how many times I ended up standing in the old location with garbage in my hand. Such a small thing. And yet, a change. It reminds me of how many things we do on "remote", simply knowing where things are and going through the motions mindlessly. It's a great way to be productive in the routines of life! At the same time, we can lose the joy of discovery and growth by doing all of life in that mindless setting. How long has it been since you switched something up and became aware of this moment, this opportunity, this time? Are you caught in the wonder of life or lost in the daily grind? Maybe it's time to move the garbage can, go out for coffee with a friend, or choose a new pew to sit in at church! Or not.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

OYAN Summer Workshops!

We are in a new adventure these days as we enjoy a week at the OYAN (One Year Adventure Novel) Summer Workshops! This is a workshop connected a writing course and online community that Kevin has been a part of. It's been a great mix of fun and inspiration...

It's fun to see Kevin connecting with other teens who have similar interests and are passionate about God and reaching the world. This is truly a group of fun-loving people! And there has been a lot of acting talent and good humor. Last night an improv team did a session, and it was just amazing. I laughed til my sides hurt, then laughed some more.

It's also been fun to see a lot of creative costumes, hear good music in various places as songs break out, and watch the inside humour as the group interacts.

We've been inspired by various speakers. Inspired to be salt and light to the world, to live out God's call on our lives, and to appreciate God's beauty and man's art in new ways. We've heard parts of students' stories and we've been inspired by their faith and passion. We've been impressed by student-initiated prayer meetings, Bible studies, and worship time.

Thursday, June 13, 2013


...moving! I think I'm quick at packing, fast at cleaning, and quite decisive about sorting. Still, it takes a while, this packing, sorting, and moving. Though I must say it's much easier to move across town than around the world! We've been doing this move slowly while we finish school and do the other things of life. And while we aren't quite finished at the old house, the new house is staying pretty organized through the process. So, it takes a while but it's getting done!

I was going through photos and found this fun one of my brother and I when we went out for coffee the last morning we were there. It was such a good memory I knew I had to blog it:).

Our summer schedule is taking shape. Kevin is working some hours, training, and taking care of various things that have been waiting for his attention. Kaleb is staying busy also working a little, riding his bike, and trying to fix his computer that seems to have multiple issues at the moment.

Kevin also got a car, which is a total God story that I should really let him tell. If you see him, ask him about his wheels... and please act impressed!

Well, we are not quite done moving, and I need to head back to the house, so I'll close for now. May your day be blessed.

Thursday, June 06, 2013

New beginnings...

We've decided to call this our house of new beginnings... we've had so many beginnings in the last year that we've often been overwhelmed. And yet in some way it feels like this is a good new beginning, putting some of the stresses of the past year behind us, and starting again with a sense that we know our way around!

For years my mom had a sign on the fridge that said, "God never tires of our new beginnings." As a child and teenager I believed it was true, but the meaning was rather lost on me. However, as life moves on I find new comfort and meaning in those words. And I agree, because He constantly calls us to new beginnings in various ways. And the things that we plan to "get in order" we often find ourselves writing down as a "new" endeavor several months or years later.

I thought I'd share a couple photos from the last trip-- the boys enjoying sitting in the front seats while we relaxed in the back. Amazing how life changes!

We are so incredibly blessed by our boys, the ways they're growing and learning and the ways they are a part of what God has called us a family to do and be.

We have most of what we need for daily living in the new place, but there are still things at the old house that need attention. Then there's the cleaning... I was thinking the other day that I seldom have to consider spring cleaning, I just clean when I move! And I guess I should get back to some of the sorting, packing, and cleaning that needs done!